2022 EULAR points to consider for the measurement, reporting and application of IFN-I pathway activation assays in clinical research and practice

Javier Rodríguez-Carrio, Agata Burska, Philip G. Conaghan, Willem A. Dik, Robert Biesen, Maija Leena Eloranta, Giulio Cavalli, Marianne Visser, Dimitrios T. Boumpas, George Bertsias, Marie Wahren-Herlenius, Jan Rehwinkel, Marie Louise Frémond, Mary K. Crow, Lars Rönnblom, Marjan A. Versnel, Edward M. Vital*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background Type I interferons (IFN-Is) play a role in a broad range of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), and compelling evidence suggests that their measurement could have clinical value, although testing has not progressed into clinical settings. Objective To develop evidence-based points to consider (PtC) for the measurement and reporting of IFN-I assays in clinical research and to determine their potential clinical utility. Methods EULAR standardised operating procedures were followed. A task force including rheumatologists, immunologists, translational scientists and a patient partner was formed. Two systematic reviews were conducted to address methodological and clinical questions. PtC were formulated based on the retrieved evidence and expert opinion. Level of evidence and agreement was determined. Results Two overarching principles and 11 PtC were defined. The first set (PtC 1-4) concerned terminology, assay characteristics and reporting practices to enable more consistent reporting and facilitate translation and collaborations. The second set (PtC 5-11) addressed clinical applications for diagnosis and outcome assessments, including disease activity, prognosis and prediction of treatment response. The mean level of agreement was generally high, mainly in the first PtC set and for clinical applications in systemic lupus erythematosus. Harmonisation of assay methodology and clinical validation were key points for the research agenda. Conclusions IFN-I assays have a high potential for implementation in the clinical management of RMDs. Uptake of these PtC will facilitate the progress of IFN-I assays into clinical practice and may be also of interest beyond rheumatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-762
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) (grant number SCI019). PGC and EMV are supported in part by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leeds Biomedical Research Centre.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


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